Sentosa Spooktacular 'ghost' enjoys scaring visitors, even if he's hit

Sentosa Spooktacular 'ghost' enjoys scaring visitors, even if he's hit

A brown wig, red dress and fake wound covering almost half his face.

Just another day at work for Mr Ariff Iswandi, 20, one of the 70 scarers at Sentosa Spooktacular, the Halloween event organised by Sentosa and Thai film production studio GMM Tai Hub (GTH).

Sentosa Spooktacular has been held annually since 2009, and is also known as Asia's Scariest Fun.

For Mr Ariff, who is waiting to enlist for national service, this is the third year that he is a scarer at the event. He has been dressing up as a female character all three years.

"I can pass off as a female ghost because of my slim physique and high-pitched screaming," he said.

For the event, Fort Siloso will be transformed into a haunted residential zone based on the GTH movie, Laddaland.

Released in 2011, Laddaland won six awards at the Thailand National Film Association Awards, including Best Film and Best Screenplay.

The movie is based on an urban legend about an upscale residential area in Thailand where the new homeowners encounter a series of paranormal events.



There are three haunted trails in different "houses" that visitors can walk through. The Thai movies featured in these houses are The Swimmers, Alone and Countdown, all horror films produced by GTH.

At Mr Ariff's station at the Alone trail, selected guests at the preview event screamed and some even shouted expletives. Others covered their ears.

Last year, Mr Ariff's face was bruised after being hit by terrified visitors. They usually apologise after hitting him, and this has not deterred him returning to the job.

"It is funny to see their reactions after I scare them. It gives me a sense of satisfaction," he said.

Spooktacular had 15,000 visitors last year. The organisers are expecting 17,000 people this year.

But for some thrill-seekers, this year's event was not as hair-raising as they had expected. Ngee Ann Polytechnic student Amira Adriana, 20, said the ghosts were not as scary as last year's.

But she found the make-up on the ghosts in the Alone trail realistic. She said: "The make-up, such as the fake blood, was superb."

Conference executive Nina Ngadia, 23, was so scared by the ghosts in the Countdown trail that she fell and ended up crawling on the floor to escape. She said: "We all need a good scare once in a while."

This article was first published on Oct 11, 2014.
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